Family Matters

Don’t Eat Daddy’s Cookies: How to Talk to Your Kids About Pot

Explaining why pot is now like alcohol: okay for mom and dad, but not for kids

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Washington state’s legalization of marijuana last week was a professional triumph for Alison Holcomb, a Seattle attorney who wrote the law. But the legal victory created a personal dilemma: how to discuss the no-longer illicit drug with her 4-year-old son. “He’s a sponge right now, and I don’t know if he’s yet at the age when I can have a meaningful conversation with him about it,” says Holcomb, the drug policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington. “He has never seen me smoke anything. I probably won’t do it in front of him.”

With marijuana now legal for adults over 21 in Washington and  Colorado, Holcomb is one of many parents trying to figure out what to say to – and do around – their kids as a result. Most moms and dads think nothing of sipping a glass of wine at the family dinner table. Now that lighting up a joint in the Evergreen State should no more raise alarm than an after-work gin and tonic, will parents take the same no-big-deal attitude toward both? As moms and dads figure out how to negotiate marijuana’s transition from illegal drug to just another ho-hum way to unwind, TIME sought advice from experts on how to incorporate pot into parenting (the full magazine story is available to subscribers here).

“In some families, it’s possible for parents to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana or both and still have their teens make good decisions,” says Roger Roffman, a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Washington (UW) who has studied interventions for high schoolers who use pot. “In principle, if parents can drink alcohol or smoke marijuana responsibly in front of teens, they can also do it responsibly in front of young kids.”

Jean Robinson, a Seattle businesswoman who owns a construction management firm and chaired New Approach Washington, the campaign to pass what was known as Initiative 502, said she now sees no difference between getting high or drinking alcohol in front of her daughter, a 19-year-old nursing student. “I would use in front of her in the same way that I would have a drink in front of her,” she says. But Robinson says she has tried to ensure that her daughter respects the law, telling her that she stopped using before becoming a mom and warning her not to smoke until she turns 21.

(MOREIs Medical Marijuana Safe for Children?)

The ACLU’s Holcomb thinks the new law presents an opportunity for parents to talk about marijuana use with their children. “This is a great time for parents to sit down with their kids and explain the fact that just because something is no longer a crime does not mean it’s necessarily good for you,” she says. “We need to have a heart-to-heart and say, ‘Please don’t do this until you’re older and the risk is less for you.’” To bolster that point, UW’s Roffman advises stressing that research has found that heavy marijuana use during the teen years is associated with poor academic performance. “When the law was changed,” he notes, “it was not changed for kids and teens.”

Rick Steves, the Washington-based travel guru, talked about marijuana with his children long before the recent laws. In 2003, when Steves joined the board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), he invited the group’s president to his home 30 minutes outside of Seattle to discuss pot and pot law with his children. “I wanted to explain to my kids that this is not pro-drugs but pro-civil liberties,” says Steves, whose children are now 21 and 25. “I told them this is something adults should be able to do, but it is not any more appropriate for kids than driving a car or using a chainsaw.” Steves tried to initiate a public debate about marijuana four years ago when he hosted a television program produced by the ACLU called “Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation.” Only one of Seattle’s three local networks agreed to run it. “The idea was to talk to frightened mothers and fathers in the suburbs,” says Steves, whose views about marijuana were shaped by his exposure to more tolerant European countries. “We wanted to get a conversation started.” He thinks the time may now be right to revive the show.

For parents who do choose to smoke around the house, Inga Manskopf, a prevention specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, urges that they “think about how their marijuana use is being construed by kids. I personally think it’s a bad idea to use marijuana in front of your kids,” she said. Manskopf also cautions parents against lighting up with their children, citing research from UW which found that introducing teens to alcohol as a means of teaching responsible use backfires. She suggests settling on family rules, which should emphasize that — as with alcohol — kids and teens are below the legal age limit.

Those are recommendations John Sanders can get behind. The chairman of the Edmonds Community College music department, Sanders took his 9- and 11-year-old daughters to a rally celebrating legalization, but he’s not about to fire up a joint in front of them. Sanders and his wife regularly use marijuana – he says they smoke out of range of the daughters – and the girls know about their habit. The candor is essential because Sanders prefers to consume his weed in baked goods and, thanks to an open discussion and strict boundaries, his daughters know to stay far away from what they call “grown-up cake” and “daddy cookies.”

MORE7% of California Drivers Test Positive for Marijuana, but Are They Impaired?

221 comments
insertusernamehere1
insertusernamehere1

"Don't eat daddy's cookies." Lmao. In all seriousness though, legalize weed, tax it, and our country will easily pay back the debt we're in. Not to mention sufferers of epilepsy, cancer, aids, insomnia etc. will have a safer alternative than to resort to addictive pain medications. If you don't want to smoke weed, don't. But don't deprive people who are suffering from a natural, harmless herb. And if you tell your kids that smoking weed will make them become a terrorist, than they will eventually find out you were lying and everything you said will go out the window. So tell them the truth. Win for everyone!

NaveedXVO
NaveedXVO

“He has never seen me smoke anything. I probably won’t do it in front of him.”
"I probably won’t do it in front of him.”

"probably"

j_jonik
j_jonik

The word should be "RE-legalize", not just "legalize". Cannabis was as legal as water, air and blueberries for a zillion years...until certain industries (cotton, timber, pesticides, synthetic fabrics, chlorine, oil, plastics, etc) saw it as a threat to their toxic, environmentally-damaging profits.  

To just talk about pro or con, likes and dislikes, etc.,  regarding pot use is to ignore and distract from the illegitimate reasons for cannabis prohibition.  It's to even let judges and jurors with economic links to beneficiaries of the laws remain on court cases....a gross violation of Due Process.    Add to that list of economic beneficiaries (cotton, timber, etc etc) the private prison industry, for profit insurers that invest in them all, and other investors.)

NimTix
NimTix

If America legalized and taxed marijuana, we would not owe China one cent.

BigBoyChiefSticks
BigBoyChiefSticks

Marijuana is harmless. Legalization would be the best thing since the internet or ipod. Smoke it, understand your SOUL. Money could be made on marijuana by the average joe but the fact is the united states is no longer concerned with the common mans welfare. Uncle Sam wants the money for Uncle Sam. Imma blaze regardless. GREEN WEED IS BETTER FOR THE UNITED STATES COMPARED TO GREEN GREED.

ZachLostDick
ZachLostDick

In the words of "stupid", "lazy" stoner musical genius Bob Marley once said "when you smoke herb, it reveals you to yourself"

ShellyAutumn
ShellyAutumn

Do drugs like pot and become stupid and lazy.  It's sad when people resort to self medicating because they have to escape their reality in such a primitive way.   

tablesetter05
tablesetter05

I don't believe that marijuana in itself leads to poor academic performance. I smoked for the first time at age 14 or 15 (can't really remember - go figure) and it became a two-to-three-day habit during the school week. I never had a problem with school work. In college, I have had as high as a 3.8 g.p.a, all awhile smoking on a daily basis. I could smoke the morning away and go to class and learn new material just as well as any student in the class; there really is no inhibiting effect caused by the ganja man.

MaryLouis
MaryLouis

@BigBoyChiefSticks you just enjoyed a bowl didn’t you? The whole “Smoke it, understand your SOUL” gave it way..

Enjoy

tablesetter05
tablesetter05

@ZachLostDick Lol. "Not the most sparkling personality in the world." Don't smoke pot and instead post blanket statements that are half-truth and take shots at others for simply expressing their support for something they prefer to do in their personal lives. I hate how there is always that person in these discussions that get so bitter toward others over weed. Them same people never mention a thing about alcohol, but that is because they probably think illegal things are worse than legal things 100% of the time.

RobŽemaitis
RobŽemaitis

@ShellyAutumn 

Do drugs like Percocet and vodka and become stupid and aggressive. It's sad when people resort to self-medicating because they have to escape reality with their doctor's prescriptions and the local bar.

loudonna2011
loudonna2011

@ShellyAutumn Use the god given herb cannabis,become insightful,creative at peace with yourself and others.

YusufSpeckledBegg
YusufSpeckledBegg

@ShellyAutumn Please show me proven scientific study that this is true. Anything in society can be abused its about the individual strength of mind, moderation is the key. 

 I have a double major in Finance and Accounting, and work for reputable firm, and have enjoyed smoking for about 8years. Do not describe for me what i can and cannot do, if you choose to not smoke i do not prejudice you. 

You have a right to your opinion and freedom of speech , but when you spit lies it just further perpetuates this lie. So many people have died, gone to jail for something that should have never been illegal in the first place.

Secondly everyone only speaks about one use about cannabis that is the effect it has on our bodies. What about the strength of hemp clothing and textiles, its proven that that hemp products are far superior cotton.

This is solely my opinion but think about it from a high level point of view the loss revenues that these multinational firms would lose - cannabis becomes legal, people start buying hemp clothing and products instead of the cotton. They last longer result in consumers buying clothing less frequently resulting in less profits for your Multi national companies. 

MaryLouis
MaryLouis

@ShellyAutumn  Hey Shelly, I got your point and I agree. I have no problem with someone that needs it for medicinal purposes at all-people that do it once in a blue moon-no problem. It’s the stoners-the majority of users- that give us pause. Yes…Many famous people including presidents have admitted  to trying or dabbling in younger years-like most of us..for the most part though, successful, high achieving individuals are not smoking every day or even once a week. Sorry the truth hurts. 

Empurfektion
Empurfektion

@ShellyAutumn What if I need it for a disease that helps me escape the reality of the amount of pain I suffer daily? You are part of the ignorance and closed minded individuals that ruin the freedoms we are entitled too. If you think this drug causes us to become "lazy and stupid" what do you think alcohol does? Alcohol not only damages dendrites within the brain, it also kills other organs and can lead to multiple forms of cancer.  And don't even get me started on other forms of LEGAL drugs that we take as pain killers, or for depression, anxiety, etc. etc. Those cause more symptoms than what Marijuana EVER has and will. Become educated before you go rant and rave on forums where your comment only reflects how ignorant you truly, truly are.

WFC
WFC

@ShellyAutumn Love it when someone speaks from ZERO experience. Yep, stupid and lazy people like Ted Turner, the last 3 presidents, Carl Sagan, John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, Bill Murray, Bill Gates, Bing Crosby, Cab Calloway, Lester Grinspoon, Gary Johnson, WB O' Shaugnessy, Jackie Gleason, Harrison Ford, PJ O' Rourke, Richard Feynman....yep, bunch of stupid, lazy presidents, governors, authors, Nobel winners, physicists, actors, musicians, entreprenuers....... The stupid people are the ones who think they know what a pot smoker is because they watched a Cheech & Chong movie. 

ZachLostDick
ZachLostDick

@ShellyAutumn our last 3 presidents have admitted to using pot, very talented musicians, actors, writers etc use pot, george washington grew pot, the declaration of independence was written on hemp. none of these things would be considered stupid and especially not lazy

ShellyAutumn
ShellyAutumn

@tablesetter05 Your a liar.  It has been shown time and time again that smoking pot lowers your IQ, not permanently but for some time.....so smoking every day or so will lower your grades depending on the courses you take. 

WFC
WFC

@MaryLouis @ShellyAutumn Yet another fool who is using their own guesswork and accepting flat out lies as truth. Hey, if you want to be intellectually dishonest with yourself, that's your right, but it doesn't make you right. Your words tell the tale. You have no firsthand experience with pot yourself or anyone else. There is no way you do if you hold those opinions. You guys don't know the first thing about the truth if you believe that people like Carl Sagen, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Leonard Grinspoon, and Richard Feynman were not regular users. Your head is up your ass. Pull it out and be on the side of what is real and truthful. Why make up an opinion when the facts are out there?

asher2789
asher2789

@MaryLouis @ShellyAutumn i know quite a few people who smoke everyday and run perfectly fine successful lives.

smoking doesnt necessarily mean getting stoned to the point of being unable to function, just like drinking doesnt necessarily mean getting drunk to the point of being unable to function (although that is still far more socially acceptable than smoking pot at all). you can drink a glass of wine at dinner every night, or you can be an alcoholic and have a bottle of vodka a day. which drinker do you think leads a successful life? the drinks-once-a-day, or the alcoholic? weed isnt any different. you can smoke a joint a day, or you can smoke 20 joints a day. which leads the more successful life? probably the one who smokes one joint a day.

BettyADuffy
BettyADuffy

WTF Shelly! Give it up. You are just making yourself look bad. And you are obviously outnumbered by people that seem neither lazy nor stupid. Now time to get back to your Justin Bieber collection.

WFC
WFC

 @Empurfektion @ShellyAutumn  It's scary to see that the people who want to think for everyone else can't do so for themselves! I blame the hard headed, ignorant, and uneducated for the demise of our culture. They sit around and watch dancing with the stars and gobble up anything the mainstream media packs down their throats instead of learning about issues that effect them. It's easier to live like a sheep when you are told what to think instead of experiencing life and gaining knowledge for yourself. 

Bub
Bub

@WFC @ShellyAutumn  yeah , lots of acclaimed people have smoked pot , a little , moderately ( for them ) or a lot ( regularly) .  They could handle it for whatever reason , personality -wise /psychological makeup  and physically they could integrate the experience. Not everyone can , or does all the time.  One  can't those people's names, they aren't famous , but they are the majority.... Just like those whose lives were cut short or diminished by alcohol,  pot can be harmful in one's life, and  there hasn't been enough media coverage about smoking up  or otherwise using pot ( in baking , etc.) responsibly.  And for some , whose tolerance is nil, it's best not to use at all...

ZachLostDick
ZachLostDick

@WFC @ShellyAutumn the genius in cheech and chong is that they dont even emulate stoners, they wrote the characters to emulate what people like @ShellyAutumn perceive to be dumb stoners. 

RobŽemaitis
RobŽemaitis

@ShellyAutumn :

I have a challenge for you. Prove anything you've said with scientific peer-reviewed studies and some of us *might* listen to you. Anything else is just your own bigoted ignorance. And I'm not being violent or aggressive, just issuing a challenge to you. 

ToeHead
ToeHead

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 Cite something and people will take you seriously. You are pulling things out of your a$$ and then calling everyone trolls. People are just looking for some hard evidence.

loudonna2011
loudonna2011

@ShellyAutumn

Shelly,have You ever used MerryWanna?

ShellyAutumn
ShellyAutumn

@tablesetter05 You wouldn't defend you precious drugs,  so intensely if you actually believed you were correct.  Truth is well known and published about the effects of pot on the human body and mind.  You can deny it, argue it and throw out your best ideas on the subject....you are soooo afraid of  losing your security blanket that you will try to recruit other people to do drugs with you...pathetic.  I personally don't mind if you get stoned out of your mind, ruin your body or kill yourself in the process....it just makes me succeed by default !!

tablesetter05
tablesetter05

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 I am many things, but a liar is not one of them. Temporarily lowered IQ may in fact be one effect of smoking marijuana, but that does not necessarily amount to reduced performance in school. Effort and other factors must be considered. To get good grades in school does not mean you have to have a high IQ, and to establish the universal rule that smoking reduces performance is just not true in every case. As far as the courses go, I am talking about a demanding college curriculum, not "catch-up" courses like "introduction to the introduction to English" course where anybody can excel. 

ZachLostDick
ZachLostDick

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 unless you have nonbiased journalistic evidence of this "fact", you are completely wrong, it doesn't lower iq. i smoke every day and get a's and b's in college.

ToeHead
ToeHead

@YusufSpeckledBegg @ShellyAutumn @WFC @MaryLouis ShellyAutumn reminds me of the type of person who was so alarmed after pot legalization in CO and WA saying, who's going to spot the pill when people start overdosing on marijuana?! Umm....just no....

YusufSpeckledBegg
YusufSpeckledBegg

@ShellyAutumn @WFC @MaryLouis 

Once again you show your ignorance regarding cannabis. People tend to get "aggressive" when you spread lies and propaganda. I am glad there are so many people in the world who have thought critically about the prohibition that governments have put on this plant and are standing up against it.

 I have nothing against you not smoking pot but you need to give me supported reasons why you are anti-pot, not just blanket statements like "Oh, yeah I forgot pot smokers can't do math or think clearly" When that is untrue.   

I stress once again that with anything in life moderation is the key. If you going to over indulge in anything in life it will have a detrimental effect on your health, whether it be eating food, drinking alcohol or cannabis for example.

 I am against kids smoking pot, for sure, marijuana should be regulated in the same way Alcohol is. If this is your  reason why you are anti-pot then i respect your opinion. 

ShellyAutumn
ShellyAutumn

@WFC @MaryLouis @ShellyAutumn It's the same "posters" and "trolls" responding for 2 days now....hilarious !!! Stupid pot smokers.....I thought "pot smokers" are suppose to be relaxed and mellow....you sound aggressive, angry and even on the verge of becoming violent. Poor babies, threatened by 1 persons opinion.....If it takes 5 pot smokers to defend against 1 anti-pot smoker then you are doomed !!!!! Oh, yeah I forgot pot smokers can't do math or think clearly....Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/13/dont-eat-daddys-cookies-how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-pot/#ixzz2F2ylB1V9

WFC
WFC

@asher2789 @ShellyAutumn I'm guessing "Shelly" is some 53 year old desk jockey at a cigarette or beer company who gets paid $7.50 an hour to troll these articles. Anyone with any intelligence can find out the truth about marijuana and doesn't have to rely on outdated propaganda and lies. If these idiots were so concerned with pot and kids, they would be SUPPORTING legalization, as it would be harder for young people to obtain. Most of these folks are probably Republican, Bible beaters who want to talk a good game about freedom and personal responsibility, but only if it's their version. It has to suck to be on the wrong side of history, so they are fighting it with all they have. They'll still lose. Truth, reason, and freedom always.....ALWAYS prevail in the long run. 

RobŽemaitis
RobŽemaitis

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 

Come on Shelly, citations will be required in order for you to stop sounding like the 'idiot' you claim all cannabis users to be. Do you even know what a peer-reviewed study is? No? I'm not surprised.

P.S. My Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children score at age 8 was 135. After 25 years of smoking cannabis (then aged 34), my Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test scroe was 155. Lowered my IQ did it? 

Who is the liar here?

ToeHead
ToeHead

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 Funny, I just thought it was a plant. Look at what they put into cigarettes with all the chemicals. Those are legal.  What gives?

WFC
WFC

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 Yawn. Funny, you keep coming back. Bad thing for you is, you are in the minority. Marijuana legalization is coming. You'll smoke it too....you just don't know it yet, because you are an arrogant fool. 

justaguy
justaguy

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 I can do math and think clearly. I am a computer engineer aka the person that builds and designs the technology you use everyday to live your close-minded life. I have smoked nearly every single day for the past six years and I have great grades as a senior in a top 10 university ..I have not only passed but excelled in multiple math and science courses like 3rd year calculus, electromagnetic physics, electrical circuit design, computer architecture design, computer programming, the list goes on and on....I am in superior physical shape and have an excellent job that let's just say most people only dream of. I am proof that you are wrong. 

ShellyAutumn
ShellyAutumn

@tablesetter05 It's the same "posters" and "trolls" responding for 2 days now....hilarious !!!   Stupid pot smokers.....I thought "pot smokers" are suppose to be relaxed and mellow....you sound aggressive, angry and even on the verge of  becoming violent.  Poor babies, threatened by 1 persons opinion.....If it takes 5 pot smokers to defend against 1 anti-pot smoker then you are doomed !!!!!  Oh, yeah I forgot pot smokers can't do math or think clearly....

loudonna2011
loudonna2011

@WFC @ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05

Shelly is what we call willfully Ignorant.

YusufSpeckledBegg
YusufSpeckledBegg

@WFC @ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05 Trying to have a conversation/debate with an ignorant person, no matter how logical/supported your answers are,they remain ignorant. 

Shelly will probably never accept that truth even if it smacks right in the face. Its quite sad.

WFC
WFC

@ShellyAutumn @tablesetter05  Wow.....do you even read what you write? You are so circular in your words that it's laughable. You now say someone is wrong simply because they are defending their position? The more you write the more it shows that you just don't think for yourself. Seriously, you don't know what you are talking about and people who do are trying to help you. There is nothing wrong with being wrong, so long as you learn from it. If nothing else, at least try to be honest. 

ZachLostDick
ZachLostDick

@tablesetter05 @ShellyAutumn the way i see it is if you are already lazy, distracted and unmotivated, then weed would only enable more of that behavior. but if you have a good mindset and actually know how to prioritize then smoking pot is no big deal. the people who are gonna be dumb and lazy are going to remain dumb and lazy with our without weed because its part of their natural self.